Something that I have noticed with many of my clients who are successful, high-achieving, independent women navigating dating is a struggle that transcends age, race and socioeconomics -- when it comes to dating, they feel like insecure needy teenagers.
Some of these women have blown up a romantic interest's phone with texts or held on to men who they knew were not right for them for fear of being alone. They are not stupid women or crazy women -- they are the opposite. Intelligent and articulate. They know that it does not make sense even as they do it. And yet they continue to struggle with this insecurity and neediness.
No matter how successful, accomplished, independent or strong we may be, all human beings are wired for connection. We crave it. Most of us reach for it in our electronic devices using social media or online dating apps but it's not the same as real human connection. We are desperate for it to the point that when we get sight of it, we sometimes lose ourselves trying to hold on to it. And texting is too easy. It does not leave wiggle room for impulsivity.
Once upon a time, you had to make a phone call and leave a voicemail on an answering machine. Now, you can have instant gratification and send your immediate reaction to whoever whenever you please. Our first impulse is rarely our best. Processing our reactions before sharing them is an important skill to remember which is why I encourage many of my clients to write the text they want to send in a private note on their phones instead -- if they still want to send it the next day, by all means. Often, the impulse fades before any damage is done.
When self-respecting women repeatedly cling to men who treat them poorly, it's often a sign that there's some work to be done. I am committed to helping women work on dysfunctional relationship patterns and deal with hidden negative beliefs they have about themselves that hold them back. It can be painful but closing the door on challenging chapters often opens the door to healthier happier ones.
There's a book that I like quite a bit about holding on to your sense of self and setting healthy boundaries while dating. While I like the book, it has a splashy title that I hate and find misleading. It's called, "Why Men Love Bitches" by Sherry Argov. I do not recommend that you read this book to become a bitch that men love. If that's what you're looking for, this book will disappoint you. However, I do recommend this book to set strong boundaries and hold on to your sense of self while dating which is a critical life skill for any single woman.
Beyond that, I encourage you to have compassion around the neediness that comes up. It's okay to feel it and not send the text messages. There's nothing wrong with you -- you're human and you crave connection.
If you're struggling with these issues, I'm here to support you.